Romney, Mitt

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Romney, Mitt

Mitt Romney (Willard Mitt Romney) (rŏm´nē), 1947–, American politician and business executive, b. Detroit, Mich., grad. Brigham Young Univ. (B.A., 1971), Harvard (M.B.A., 1975, J.D., 1975). Son of George W. Romney, he worked for Bain and Co., a Boston investment firm, serving as vice president (1978–84) and CEO and chairman (1991–93). From 1984 to 1998 he was at Bain Capital, a related investment firm he cofounded and headed. In 1994 he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate as a Republican. Following a scandal involving bribery in the awarding of the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City, Romney was brought in to head the organizing committee (1999–2002); he reduced severe cost overruns and secured numerous corporate sponsors. He capitalized on his success in managing the Olympics to run for governor of Massachusetts, serving for one term (2003–7). In 2007–8 Romney ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination; his Mormon faith was an issue in some primaries. In 2012, however, he secured the Republican presidential nomination. Romney, the first Mormon to win a major party nomination for president, and his running mate Paul Ryan lost to the incumbents, Obama and Biden, in the general election. In the 2016 Republican presidential primary season, Romney denounced the candidacy of Donald Trump and campaigned against him. In 2018 Romney became a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Utah.

See biographies by R. B. Scott (2011) and M. Kranish and S. Helman (2012).

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